Before I talk about this master key to happiness, let me first talk about the source of unhappiness. Unhappiness is often birthed out of disappointments, you have certain expectations, you put in all the work to make those expectations a reality, yet you don't get your expected outcome, this feeling of wasted effort and failure can lead to unhappiness.
We have all struggled with this at one point in time or the other, and you might be faced with this particular situation right now. One of the areas this affected me personally is with our church. I would go out and invite people to come to church, I'll would spread the word by mouth, I went on the streets and helped people in need and invited them to church, I did so many things to get people to come to church, yet on Sunday, they didn't show up.
This would get me sad and make me want to quit, it wasn't easy preaching to empty chairs and all my efforts to get people to come to church so that people could hear the message God had given me seemed wasted so I began to feel sad.
Then one day my Pastor shared with me his master key to happiness, the principle that helped him to cope when things don't go according to your plans and expectations. He too could identify with my struggles with trying to get people to come to church because he had been there and been through exactly the same thing, but what kept him trying and kept him happy and joyful despite not yet seeing results, what kept him perservering with optimism until the outcome he desired came was the principle I am about to share with you and that is:
When things don't go right, CELEBRATE and GIVE THANK!
Celebrate and give thanks? Why should I celebrate and give thanks when things aren't going right? Isn't that reserved for when things are going right?
That's exactly the problem, we withhold our celebration until we see results, that's why we are sad and unhappy most of the time. Learn to be thankful and celebrate, put yourself in a good mood, dance and rejoice regardless of whatever circumstance you find yourself in. It might seem like a crazy thing to do but it works.
When you do that, nothing, no situation or circumstance can make you bow your head in unhappiness because you will train your brain to be happy in all things and in all situations. Nothing will be able to move you, nothing will be able to shake you or discourage you because you have cultivated the habit of giving thanks and being happy in all things.I guess that's why the bible tells us to be thankful in all things.
God wants us to have mastery and control over every situation we encounter, we should be the ones to determine our emotions, how we feel, how we respond to the things that happen to us, my mood should be dictated by me not the things that happen to me - that's the key to happiness.
I therefore choose to respond with joy and happiness (and you should too) no matter what happens. Even if I don't get that job, even if I don't have money, even if I don't yet have a child, even if they are about to take the house, even if no one shows up to church on Sunday - in all things I will celebrate, I'm not going to let anything steal my joy because I know tomorrow will be better - this is the kind of attitude you need to develop, it is the master key to happiness.
The key to sustained happiness is your attitude - How do you chose to respond to the negative things that happen to you?
If you respond with a positive attitude, a mindset that no situation or circumstance will steal my happiness, I will rejoice and be happy and stay optimistic no matter what situation or circumstance comes my way, you will maintain your happiness in the midst of the most difficult of challenges. You will have peace in the midst of the storm and people won't be able to understand why. The secret is in the attitude of the mind.
Shift your focus off the problem, stop thinking about what isn't right, stop thinking about the unsuccessful job interview, stop thinking about the bills that are due that you are unable to pay, I'm not saying to be irresponsible and ignore them hoping they will magically disappear but what I am saying is don't let those things control your emotions, you determine how you respond - respond with joy. Train yourself to respond with joy and happiness, it is a crazy thing to do, it doesnt make sense! - I know but it works, you'll keep smiling and you'll save yourself from getting depressed.
Unhappiness is temporary that's why you should keep smiling. The key to happiness is remembering that what ever situation you find yourself in (no matter how bad) is temporary, it wont last forever, so you can smile and be happy knowing and reminding yourself that there are better days ahead.
Get those outstanding bills, lay them on the floor, put on your favourite music and dance around them, speak to them and tell them you will be paid, one way or the other, I'm not going to let a bunch of letters on a piece of paper disturb my joy and peace - do the same to the letter of dismissal and the letter informing you that you didn't get the job and anything else that represents that situation thats making you unhappy for that matter.
Don't allow yourself to fall into depression, be the master over your emotions, remain strong, if you can remain strong you can overcome, if you can remain joyful you can have the last laugh.
It's a choice people! we can choose to be happy even in a bad situation, why should my default response be sadness, no! Reprogram yourself so that your default response is joy. We choose to get sad when things go against us, we have learned by social conditioning that what to do when things go wrong and don't go according to plan is to get sad and unhappy. Why not change the formula so that when things don't go right you start celebrating, throw a party, count your blessings, think of how blessed and grateful you are for life and then review how you can make the situation better, stay positive and dont give up - That's the master key to happiness.
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